Michael L. Littman, PhD
Computer Scientist, Educator, Machine-Learning Researcher
I'm a computer science professor at Brown University, studying machine learning and working to engage broadly about applications and implications of artificial intelligence.
I believe that public engagement with the core ideas of computing and artificial intelligence are essential to the health of society because they are a powerful force for good or harm, depending on how they are used. Although I think the topic is important and serious, I typically take a lighthearted approach to science communication, using parody songs and humor to connect with the sense of playfulness that is essential to creative problem solving.
My book, "Code to Joy: Why Everyone Should Learn a Little Programming" is coming out October 3rd!
You can pre-order now from many well-known booksellers.
Michael L. Littman is a University Professor of Computer Science at Brown University, studying machine learning and decision making under uncertainty. He has earned multiple university-level awards for teaching and his research on reinforcement learning, probabilistic planning, and automated crossword-puzzle solving has been recognized with three best-paper awards and three influential paper awards. Littman is co-director of Brown's Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative and a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the Association for Computing Machinery. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement with Science, focusing on Artificial Intelligence.
He is currently serving as Division Director for Information and Intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation.
Fun fact #1: I sang in the very first email attachment ever sent. That's me in the green in 1992. It was a hairier time for many of us.
Fun fact #2: I have matching Erdös and Bacon numbers of three, and therefore a rarefied Erdös-Bacon number of six.
Kevin Bacon (0) was in Footloose (1984) with John Lithgow (1), who was in 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984) with Keir Dullea (2), who was in We Need to Talk About A.I (2020) with Michael Littman (3)
Paul Erdös (0) coauthored "Extremal graphs for intersecting triangles" (1995) with Ronald J. Gould (1), who coauthored "On a generalization of Ore's theorem for Hamiltonian-connected graphs" (1990) with Nathaniel Dean (2), who coauthored "Three-dimensional Tutte embedding" (1995) with Michael Littman (3).